Jamaica Pond is finally ice-free! The wind coming off the water yesterday, however, did not feel like it. We took a walk as the sun set.
American coots were diving for vegetation and then squabbling once a coot was successful at obtaining some. It’s late in the year for the coots, which should leave for their summer breeding grounds in the Upper Midwest and Canada any day now.
A few red maples were starting to bloom, but most trees, like this sycamore/plane tree were still bare. Sycamores not only have a mottled bark, but their twigs leave the branches in bunches, giving the bare tree a knotted look.
We spotted a lone animal low in the waters of the Pond, which quickly dove under. We presumed it was a duck, perhaps a loon, and waited for it to surface. After waiting for a couple minutes, the wind icing us over, we gave up and continued to walk. Perhaps it was some sort of jumping fish.
Soon enough, we saw it close to shore. It was a muskrat!
A greasy-looking creature, it balled itself up on a log and chomped on whatever greenery it had managed to find. Look for the muskrats on the south end of the Pond, where the path rises high above the water.